Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Guest Post- Canadian Beer Cheese Soup -5 Days of Soup

Do you like having guests? Then you can share some hostility ... oops ... I wanted to say hospitality, but maybe when you think about your mother-in-law, you might want ...
Guests! Focus on that. I didn't have any guests for a while now. However, if, then it's very lovely to cook or bake something nice.
Today, though, we are having a guest cooking for us. Therefore, without any further ado, I like to stop talking and give the word to Tara ...

Hi, I am Tara from Noshing With The Nolands and I am so excited to be here today. I have been blogging for almost a year now up here in The Great While North, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Loving every minute of it. I met Chris through a Facebook group that is so very helpful for bloggers like us to communicate and support one another. When Chris asked me if I could guest post and to do something Canadian I wasn't sure what to do. There are a few Canadian recipes but not like other countries that have a huge cuisine attached to them. We are a melting pot here so our cuisine is very diverse, in my opinion. We have a lot of French Canadian recipes but not much out west where I live. We are influenced more by Texas as we have loads of cowboys and The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede. Well I didn't want to go there as that is not what you really think of when you think of Canadian food. The Caesar cocktail was invented here in Calgary but I had done a lot on that subject already.
Hmmm, where else to go??? I wasn't quite sure then I thought of something I have never made before and thought I would give it a whirl, Canadian Beer Cheese Soup. I selected a lovely red amber ale from a brewery called Alexander Keith's. We do have a great selection of beer up here in Canada. I think beer is pretty Canadian!! It goes nicely with our sports of hockey and football watching!!
I have to say this soup turned out so magnificent, thick and creamy with an incredible taste. We all loved it!! And I sure hope you enjoy it too!!

Canadian Beer Cheese Soup

Guest Post- Canadian Beer Cheese Soup -5 Days of Soup

6 slices of bacon, cut into lardons
1 cup sweet onion
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
900 ml. chicken stock
250 ml. half and half cream
200 gms. old white cheddar, grated
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. Tabasco
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
2/3 bottle of amber ale
Cheddar cheese, green onions and freshly grated pepper for garnish.

Saute the bacon low and slow in a small fry pan. Do not crisp it! Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
In a large pot over medium low heat saute the onion in the 4 Tbsp. butter, low and slow until translucent. Add the flour and stir and cook for 1 min. Slowly add the chicken stock and whisk until smooth, bring to a simmer and whisk until thickened. Add the half and half and heat to a simmer. Add the grated cheddar and stir to melt with a wooden spoon.
Add the pepper, mustard, Tabasco, worcestershire and whisk again to combine. Add the beer and let simmer gently for a five minutes, stirring often. Add the bacon and serve. You can garnish with cheddar cheese, green onions and a grating of fresh pepper.
If you would like to follow me I would be thrilled at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
Thanks again Chris for allowing me to be here. Cheers, Tara

Well, I was really happy, having such a lovely guest. It was really a pleasure having you here, Tara. That soup is absoluetly something for me with all that cheese and ale in it. 
Now I only have to get some amber ale ...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Gemelli pasta vegetariana al forno

You know what? I eat every day and not just once. Well, there is nothing special about that. Most do. So I really don't need to mention it. However, I don't eat every day the same, not even every week according to some kind of schedule. I know, some do that and the same dishes come reappearing week after week.
That doesn't need to be! Our planet is full of so many lovely ingredients. Those can be combined in various ways. Let's take just 10 ingredients. How many different dishes could you do with them? Let me know!
Now we like to focus on pasta, there is such a great variety. Here now something I came up with today. I didn't even need to do some extra shopping to get it done. It was all there already. Besides that, some things had to be used anyway ...

Lacking another name, I just called it Gemelli pasta vegetariana al forno. 'Gemelli' is the name of the pasta I used. So if you are going to use a different one, it might be called Orecchiette pasta vegetariana al forno. 
'Vegetariana' is obvious to you, I hope. So if you are putting any kind of meat to it, you have to cancel the vegetariana and ending up with Gemelli pasta al forno or Orecchiette pasta respectively. 
Then we have the 'al forno' left referring to the fact that it is baked in the oven. So, finally, if you are too greedy and don't want to send the dish to the oven you end up with 'Gemelli pasta vegetariana' or 'Orecchiette pasta vegetariana' or even with 'Farfalle pasta vegetariana' and if you put in some meat you have 'Gemelli pasta', 'Orecchiette pasta' or 'Farfalle pasta', which in my opinion would sound simply dull and wouldn't do any good.
On the other hand we could mention some more of the vegetarian ingredients, which could then lead us to ... wait ... that got already a bit far, but maybe you can figure out some other names by looking at ...

 ... the ingredients:
Various splashes of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small pieces
500 g of tinned tomatoes
250 g cannellini beans
Dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Splash of red wine vinegar
500 g dried Gemelli pasta (you might even want to use Fusilli)
50 g grated Parmesan
125 g mozzarella (one ball)

The Preparation:
Heat up the first splash of olive oil in a large pan. Then gently fry the garlic and onion for about 10 minutes. Enjoy the smell of the garlic!
Now add the bell pepper, tomatoes, beans and a bit of water. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
That gives you plenty of time to cook the pasta. Prepare them according to the directions of the package, but ... reduce 2 minutes from the mentioned time. Give the pasta some love and attention. Who wouldn't like that ... love and attention! 
Reserve a bit of the cooking water of the pasta.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper and dried oregano according to your taste or for those, whom you are cooking for. Show some consideration! 
By the way, you could also start heating up the oven to 200°C.
It's time to turn off the heat for the sauce. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and grate in the Parmesan. You could also add some of the reserved cooking water, if you have the feeling that things are looking too dry.
Then mix it all together with the pasta. You could do that either in the pan or in your dish you are putting into the oven.
Is everything in the oven-proof dish? Good! Tear the mozzarella ball apart and spread the individual pieces on your pasta. Season with some extra dried oregano on top and sprinkle another splash of olive oil over the pasta and mozzarella. Off it goes to the oven for 30 minutes!

After you have plated up the pasta al forno and are ready to eat it, you could sprinkle yet another splash of olive oil over it ... Enjoy your pasta! What do YOU like to call it?

Just looking at this last photo, I get reminded that I wanted to get some nice white plates. I guess it will work out one day ...

... however, before I leave to do something else, I want to put this recipe to a few challenges.
First of all, we go to 'Pasta Please' which is hosted this month by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes. (Remark: No, I didn't use the tinned tomatoes because of this!)

'Pasta' again is obvious and the theme this month is 'Cheese'. Therefore forgoing the 'al forno' would have been a 'no no'.

Next we go to a joined challenge of Fuss free flavour and Fab Food 4 All.

Since I didn't buy any extra food for this recipe and used some ingredients from my pantry that were really due to go, it would be fitting to join Credit Crunch Munch.
I might even survive a few more days with all my stored items ...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

'Indulge: 70 Grain Free Desserts' e-book review

There are quite to many sicknesses and the like in these days, even despite the advances of science and medicine. I'm not quite sure whether I know anyone who can say he is totally healthy. I would say everyone has to carry his load, may it be an illness you have yourself or it's someone in the family. A lot of sicknesses you don't quite recognize when talking to people. Also clinical depression is on the rise - something that can't be quite understood.
Why am I telling you all this? If you are healthy, you may take things for granted. We never know when things strike us. However, it isn't my intention to get all gloomy here. I also don't want to tell you about the things I am fighting ...
... however, there are some diseases that are food related or have to do with food. Once I was thinking about getting a diet that would decrease inflammation, but somehow I managed things differently.
I only thought by myself, I really couldn't stand having any food intolerance or having to forgo any kind of foods for health reasons. Sadly, some have to. Finally that brings us to our today's subject.
On the food sector we can be quite happy that there are a lot of good people out there, thinking and trying things and working hard. Among those are Carol Lovett. She wrote an e-book in connection with a grain free diet: Indulge: 70 Grain Free Desserts.

Carol was so kind to provide me with a copy of her e-book to write a review. Well, I don't know whether I'm any good at it, because this is my first real book review.
However, I know what I like. As I already brought out, if you have to stick to a grain free diet, that can be quite shocking to you, but as the title of this book brings out, it doesn't mean you don't have the opportunity to indulge in some delicious desserts.
By just scanning through the pages I started drooling. So many scrumptious looking pictures are in the book. Due to this, a thought came to my mind - and forgive me, if I say this - had I been 20 years younger, I would say: 'I marry that woman!' - because those dessert are really mouthwatering and someone, who could do such lovely things, well ...
Let's get a bit more detailed, or rather let you share in what the book has to offer. As the title suggests there are 70 grain free dessert recipes in it. I selected one that right away connected to my brain ...

Taken from Indulge: 70 Grain Free Desserts

... I had to had a go. Technically I'm not so well equipped, so I find it easier to work with books made from real paper, but I managed to work with the electronic version ...

I got Carol's permission to give you the recipe. Here we go ...

Reese’s Bars

1 cup almond flour/meal, (250 mL)
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, (30 mL)
2 tbsp raw honey, (30 mL)
1/8 tsp salt, (0.5 mL)

1 cup almond butter or cashew butter, (240 mL)
3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, (45 mL)
3 tbsp raw honey, (15 mL)
1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, (22.5 mL)
1/2 tbsp raw honey or more, (7.5 mL)

Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom of a 4x8 inch rectangular loaf pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the crust. Evenly press the dough into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. The crust is done when it is lightly brown and firm to the touch. Let the crust cool before spreading the filling.

In a bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut oil, raw honey. Mix and reserve about ¼ of the mixture for the chocolate topping. Spread the almond butter filling onto the cooled crust. Place the bars in the freezer to firm up before spreading the chocolate mixture on top of the almond filling.

To make the chocolate topping add unsweetened cocoa powder to the reserved almond butter filling and sweeten to taste.

Spread on top of the semi-frozen bars. Place in the fridge to firm. Store the bars in the refrigerator. Makes 8 servings

Those were really, really delicious and I am totally glad I still have some left to enjoy today.
I also want to show you, how they looked in my case.

I didn't think about it properly. So I didn't have any extra almonds at hand for decoration, but I also tried to bring a closer look.

Back to the book itself now. There are for sure many more lovely recipes to try from that book. After all it has 70 grain free dessert recipes in it. 
If you have to rely on a grain free diet, that book will give you a fairly good share of indulgence. The book is divided into 10 sections: Basics / Icing, Sauces & How-To's / Cake / Treats / Bars / Pie & Tarts / Cold Treats / Cookies / Fair Treats / Cupcake & Muffins. That gives you a brief overview.
You get for example also a good overview on the ingredients to use for a grain free diet. So you know what to look for. There is also a table that shows you what ingredient to substitute with which one. Very useful! That way you can also convert other recipes to grain free versions.
Should it be the case, you are not in need for a grain free diet the book helps you also to convert things back, if you want to.
Carol really put a lot of work into this book and it really paid of. The recipe bring you some good food joy and indulgence, even when you have to be careful what to eat.
If you are interested in having an even closer look at the book or you want a copy for yourself, then ... Click here to view more details ... at Ditch the Wheat.
I hope my introduction at the beginning didn't put you off, but at times I just have to say it as it is. Life isn't always smooth sailing and smiling ...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Pimiento Mexicano con Huevos

It's time to turn up the heat and have some Mexican food. After all we are already having entries for this month's Bloggers Around the World. Either everyone is turning to have more time or it is an easier theme this month or even both.
Anyhow, I already prepared a few things to share with you this month. After all this theme is kind of special to me, but we have to wait until after the cooking before I disclose some further facts about me ... this time in connection with Mexico and Mexican food.
The main stars of the following recipe are bell pepper and eggs.

Let's go for it then ...

We need:
Splash of olive oil
1 red onion, finely copped
1 yellow, red , and greed bell pepper respectively, cut into stripes
2 red chilies, finely chopped
2 tbs tomato puree
100 ml cream
100 grated cheese 
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

We do:
Gently fry the onion a little bit and then add the bell peppers together with the chilies and then sauté them for about 15 minutes.
At this point add the tomato puree and cream and let go for another 10 minutes.
Now you add the cheese, spoon it through and let the cheese melt. That shouldn't take too long.
Finally add the eggs and let things on heat until the eggs are also warmed a bit. Once more, that shouldn't take too long.
Serve together with some wheat tortillas, which can be easily prepared by yourself as well. You just need flour, salt, cream and water to make the dough.
Dig in!

So far about my entry for Bloggers Around the World: Mexico. However, I can tell you, that I had leftovers. What I did with them I'll tell you later.

Now again some facts:
  1. The first  cookbook I ever bought was about Mexican food.
  2. That was what started my interest in cooking. 
  3. Sometimes I turn on Mexican music, when I'm cooking Mexican food.
  4. It would not sound too nice, if I would sing along.
  5. I have been to Mexico once. 
  6. I stayed for about 5 minutes and took me longer to get out then in.
  7. I would like to go to Mexico, properly at another time to see some ancient ruins.
  8. There is also a book I have about the Maya ruins and at one point I even thought of becoming an archaeologist.
  9. My Spanish could use some polishing up.
  10. Enchiladas belong to my favourite foods.
So, here we are already at the end of this post. Have you made up your mind yet and decided what you are going to cook for the Mexican themed Bloggers Around the World? Or what do you think can be done with the lefovers of Pimiento Mexicano con Huevos?

Friday, 18 January 2013

Too Many Secrets ... Cappuccino Muffins Covered with Dulce de Leche

What do you make of this?

Any clue? What about this?

Is that already better? Do you know any movies, in which Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix and Ben Kingsley played a role?
If so, that might take you to one of my favourite films. It was released in 1992. Got it? Yes, the film is called "Sneakers". It has a bit to do with hacking into computer systems. There are not too many effects and bloodshed, but rather cleverly made.
What, though, does it have to do with us and cooking and this blog?
No, I'm not a hacker, although ...
Well, simply move on with another picture ...

Lovely Manu from Cooking Manu came up with a brilliant idea for this month: "L'ingrediente Segreto/The Secret Ingredient". That's were we get to the 'secret'. Two participants were kind of randomly assigned to each other to send over a secret ingredient to prepare something with.
Therefore ... 'no more secrets' ... the ingredient I received was: Latte intero concentrato zuccherato ... that is: sweetened condensed milk. 
What to do with it?
I had only one answer: Dulce de Leche. How to do this without blowing up your kitchen or making a real mess, you get some instructions here.
Whatsoever, simply doing this wouldn't suffice ...
... so I combined it with some Cappuccino Muffins.

Let's have a look on how to do that.

Cappucino Muffins with Dulce de Leche

50 g chopped hazelnuts
100 g sugar
200 g flour (I used wholegrain wheat flour)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs instant cappuccino powder
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract (or one vanilla pod)
200 ml milk
50 ml oil
1 egg
180 ml dulce de leche
Some chocolate sprinkles, if you care

We assume that you have your dulce de leche ready. I had just prepared mine in 90 minutes.
Right then, combine the dry ingredients, that is the hazelnuts, sugar, flour, baking powder, cappuccino powder, and salt. Shuffle it through.
Then to the liquidish ingredients in another bowl: the vanilla extract, milk, oil, and egg. Combine it as well, give it a good whisk.
Afterwards, join the dry and the liquidish in one of the bowls and make the muffin batter.
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Divide your batter for the muffins between 12 muffin 'molds' - whatever you favour to use.
Bake it for about 25 minutes - you know when they are ready.
Allow the muffins to cool down a bit after you removed them from the oven and before you spread on them the dulce de leche.
Finish them with some chocolate sprinkles, if you care.

That's it! No more secrets! I don't know what else you expected in this post ..., whatever secrets to be revealed. Well, honestly? It's not going to happen. It's not the time to reveal any further secrets ... not yet, not yet!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tarte d'oignon avec fromage

Encore un peu de cuisine français, mais je ne parle pas français.C'est la vie! Il n'y a pas de souci! I don't necessarily need to speak French to enjoy some French food and neither need you.
However, it wouldn't do any harm. Since I have been to Paris, memories of it keep coming up ...

... and would I be more fluent in French, well ... who knows ...

Whatsoever, there are things I can do, like cooking some French and France inspired food. For example I got this new book in my collection The little Paris kitchen by Rachel Khoo. I simply couldn't resist ...

Why, I already have tried a few things from the book, like Poireaux vinagrette avec œuf poché et jambon de Bayonne ...

... and then also Nids de brielette ...

... while I've done this, I also came up with a version of a Tarte d'oignon avec fromage ... with Rouqefort to be precise.
Here we go then ...

1 tbs of butter
3 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
100 ml white wine
2 tsp Dijon mustard
150 g Roquefort
250 g double cream
275 g puff pastry

Melt the butter on low heat in a pan. Then add the onions and sauté for 15 minutes. Then add the garlic and let go for another 10 minutes.
Now put in the rosemary and pour over the white wine. Let things simmer until most of the white one is gone again.
Once that is achieved mix in the mustard, double cream and the Roquefort cheese.
Get a suitable dish ready for your tarte and fit in the puff pastry. Done! Spread over the onion and cheese mixture.
Transfer your tarte for 35 minutes to the oven at 200°C.
Enjoy your tarte d'oignon avec fromage.

Well, that's one of the few words of French that clearly stick to my mind 'avec fromage'. I don't think it gets you far, when you finish every sentence with 'avec fromage'. I'm not quite sure I want to try it.
Whatsoever, I definitely know, that I'm in the wrong place ...

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Bloggers Around the World: Caribbean Round-up and New Challenge

Did I mention to shut down this blog? I would say that was a total misunderstanding. What shall I say? At times I don't even understand myself.
I know, however, that it's time again for another Bloggers Around the World round-up.
Therefore, without any further ado I bring you the December/January round-up of Bloggers Around the World: The Caribbean ...

Depending on the area were you live on our wonderful planet, you may feel like Elizabeth from the The Law Student's Cookbook. She would rather trade ice scraping of her windscreen with putting on sunscreen. I can only agree with that, although I hardly use sunscreen even when there is sun.
Anyway, have a closer look at this sunny and warming Jamaican Curry from the Law Student's Cookbook.


Thank you, Elizabeth, for taking part. Well, I don't know about you, I can already feel the sun coming.
If that's not sufficient to bring you in the mood, I like to remind you have a few things I did here on my blog a few days ago.

There was this dessert that was created from a cocktail ... the Paradise Cocktail Dessert. If that doesn't help towards the sun ... at least if you would have five in a row ... well, it would make a difference ... or rather change things ... in your head it is.
In that post I disclose a few things from my past life ... and I might go on with that in the next post of this series.
Not dwelling too long on the aforementioned thought I like to draw you attention to a warming soup: Sopa de elote.

As far as I know, soups help in cold weather. Therefore I also have a few more soups ready at my disposal.
For now we are through with the Caribbean round-up for Bloggers Around the World ...
... that is at least what I thought, but ...
... there is one more ... eh ... soup, that reached us and I don't want it to go unnoticed. Ruth from 8&Ruth kept fighting and finally brought as a quite greenish ... eh, green vegetable soup, that has written Jamaica on it. Have a look and see, whether you notice ...

Where shall we turn next?
I know at least were some would like to go, but ... somehow my mind is already fixed concerning the next stop. I hope, all the fuss about the Maya calendar last year didn't make you feel bad about the Maya and you don't mind to go to Mexico.

Yes, that's our next stop: Mexico. I guess you know what that means and you don't need any further rules as to that. I only hope, we will turn up the heat considerable ... chilies, you know!

I don't want to forget to remind you of a few things (rules):

  1. Leave a comment with a link to your post here in this very post, below. 
  2. Link to my blog and this challenge in your post.  
  3. Use the "Bloggers Around the World" badge (the one you find at the beginning and end of this post).  
  4. You can use a new or an old post, but it has to be adjusted accordingly (you know, all the linking). 
  5. Have fun and enjoy it!
Get your chilies, chocolate and whatever you need ready and start cooking or baking something lovely Mexican ...

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Clearance sale ... orange rice pudding

Here comes another one. Yes, this title again is totally misleading. I'm not going to sell anything, but ...
As I hinted to in my last post there are a few things I want to get rid of. Things are really weird in society. You always feel you have to buy buy buy ... I'm going to refuse. 6 days ago was the last time I bought something. Now I'm going on to do this or rather not to do this and keep living from the things I still have at home.
I found an awful lot of things in my pantry that need using up, so I'm going to improvise some thing over the coming days or, who knows, even longer.
We have so much, when it is so little we need - applies to other things as well.
At the same time I feel I have a lot to write about. I already have three other posts waiting to be written. For today a quick one: orange rice pudding.

The list of ingredients is ... manageable ...

2 cups of rice (those kind you would use for risotto as well)
8 cups of orange juice
Poppy seeds
Sliced almonds

... and so are the steps of what you have to do ...

Well, simmer the rice on low heat with the orange juice for about 30 minutes.
In between roast the almonds a bit.
Serve the cooked orange rice pudding with some poppy seeds and the roasted sliced almonds. 
I didn't feel you need any extra sugar. That way you have the natural taste.

This recipe goes well also for Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays.


There are really a lot of things in my pantry that need using up. So, what are you going to expect? Something with pasta, cake and ... whatever else I come up with ...

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cuban Special - Sopa de elote

That post about the Caribbean yesterday really made me long for it ... to be there. Especially with the weather that presented itself to me today, this is only logical. I even checked some prices for flights. There were even some reasonable ones ... great!
But wait! Although this could bring some sun into my life, it's not going to happen. Oh dear!
Well, we still have our dreams, memories and ... some food.
The following  dish is from Cuba. It is called sopa de elote, which is a soup with sweet corn. I took the recipe from the Caribbean cookbook from my shelf and ... completely messed it up. How lovely! Here we go ...

285 g of sweetcorn (I used a tin)
1 chilli
500 ml chicken stock
200 ml cream

Additional ingredients I was supposed to use, but didn't:
2 eggs, slightly whisked together

What I did:
In fact it's all not a big deal. I just tossed the sweetcorn and the chilli together with a bit from the chicken stock into the liquidizer and pureed it all. 
Then I put it all together in a pot with the remaining chicken stock and the cream and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, in which I forgot to do the below mentioned thing.
A pinch of salt! Served in a bowl with some chopped parsley on it.

What I should have done additionally:
The whisked eggs were supposed to go in as well after the salt with some stirring, but this completely escaped my mind. The soup tasted fine nevertheless.

What I did afterwards, because of frustration:
I have to say, I wasn't frustrated with the soup itself, but while fetching the sweetcorn from my supplies I noticed a lot of things that I'm supposed to use up very soon ... argh! Maybe you see some of the results here soon. That is, if I should survive.
While starting to get rid of some of the things I added a few splashes of sweet and smoky BBQ sauce to the soup and ... it didn't taste too bad. Nevertheless, you don't have to try this at home.

Finally, I don't know whether that sopa de elote is such a dish that makes you directly think about Cuba or whether this soup is so special, but it connects with the Bloggers Around the World Caribbean challenge anyway ...

Monday, 7 January 2013

Conquest of Paradise ... Paradise Cocktail Dessert

On the 3rd of August 1492 Columbus set sail from Spain with three ships the Santa María, the Pinta and the Niña to find an alternative route to India. In October 1492 he reached what we know today as ... hm ... eh ... the Caribbean. The conquest of paradise was about to start. At least that's how it is called sometimes.
Enough with history lesson. If you want to know more, read a book. That's still a very good thing to do. But wait, not now. Rather read on first of all. We are having our own conquest of paradise, though slightly different. We are having it for pudding.

This dessert is based on the cocktail called paradise, which is common all throughout the Caribbean ... that is if my Caribbean cookbook is right.
I guessed, we could use this for our Caribbean themed Bloggers Around the World challenge for this month. You have still a few days left to take part as well.


Let's go into some details. However, should it be the case - strangely - that you are not fed up yet with your plans for the new year with having a lighter diet and loosing some weight, then don't read on or ... do so at own risk.
After the recipe, I tell you some random facts about me in connection with the Caribbean.

Tin of peaches (about 800 g)
4 cl apricot brandy
1 sheet of gelatin
250 g mascarpone
4 cl white rum
4 cl orange juice
2 tbs fruit sugar

Cut the peaches into small pieces, while you pour the juices from the tin to a pot. Add the apricot brandy to this very pot as well. Of course, the small pieces of peach go in as well. Bring it to the boil and leave to simmer.
Meanwhile you put a sheet of gelatin into cold water and let it soak for 7 minutes. Then get rid of the water and put the gelatin to the pot. Keep stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Then remove the pot from the heat and allow things to cool down.
Now focus on the mascarpone. Mix it with the fruit sugar, rum, and the orange juice. Put it into the fridge.
Once the peaches have cooled down sufficiently divide them between some dessert glasses (4-6 will do). When the peaches are cool enough you can also divide the mascarpone mixture between the dessert glasses and transfer the glasses to the fridge until the desserts have properly set.
You could leave them in over night, for several hours, or just eat one of them without waiting too long. 
Alternatively you can even have a paradise cocktail with some ice cubes, 4 cl white rum, 2 cl apricot brandy and 1 cl orange juice. It's up to you.

Here now 10 facts about me and the Caribbean.
  1. A computer game made me want to go to the Caribbean. 
  2. That visit actually made me learn Spanish. 
  3. I visited the Caribbean several times. 
  4. While going scuba diving I saw fishes being fed with bananas. 
  5. I went on a trip with at least 19 people in a mini van. 
  6. I was invited by locals to a wedding, had lots of sweet cake and had to dance Merengue all night ... strangely all the 'girls' wanted to dance with me.
  7. Years later I was still remembered by my dancing ... kind of.
  8. I guess that climate would be better for my chronic illness.
  9. There was a 'girl' called Betania, well ... eh ... she wrote down a recipe for me.
  10. History could have gone totally different for me ...
Now you know a little bit more about me. Do you have any connections with the Caribbean?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Back for Good!? Hot'n'Fruity Potato and Carrot Curry

'I guess now it's time for me to give up. I feel it's time.'

In 2012 ... a lot of things happened that shouldn't have had!

'Whatever I said, whatever I did, I didn't mean it.'

While kicking 2012 farewell I was a bit mean and some started worrying ... well, at least some worried whereas a lot wouldn't, if I'm not there anymore.

What now?!

Was the beginning of Cooking Around the World something that shouldn't have happened? Will anyone miss crazy stories intertwined with cooking that don't have anything to do with cooking? What about recipes that make the truth appear on your hips? Besides that who can stand the truth???
Then there are the things that have the capacity to bring you a burning sensation several times to your body ...

... 2013 ... Happy new year? Who knows about such things???

It's up to you to be happy ...

Besides that ... things go on as they have been before ... but will it be back for good?
The answer is shrouded in darkness ...

You didn't understand a word? Well, then directly continue with the burning ... and have a Hot'n'Fruity Potato and Carrot Curry ...

Ingredients (everything you don't like is optional, but then you might end up with nothing much):
1 red onion, finely chopped
500 g potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes (sort of)
500 g carrots, peeled and cut in cubes (you know)
1 tbs flour
500 ml vegetable stock
1 chili (oh, oh, I used a habanero one), finely chopped
100 ml coconut milk
2 tsp mango chutney
2 tsp curry powder
Juice of one lime

Preparation (beware not to make 'the' mistake):
Let's talk business now and put this Hot'n'Fruity Potato and Carrot Curry together.
We start off by softening the onion in a pan with some oil at low heat. After that we chuck in the potatoes and the carrots and turn up the heat a bit to fry them a little bit. You will see some colour appear on the potatoes.
Spread the flour all over it ... if you can and then pour over it the vegetable stock. Go with a wooden spoon through it and ... add the chili. While talking about chillies, just keep in mind to be careful, when handling them or otherwise they will burn also in another way. We will talk about this a bit later again.
Did you add the chili? I did and the coconut milk, mango chutney and curry powder goes in as well. Spoon things through again to have it all spread evenly (sort of).
Then it's time to put a lid on it and let it simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Don't worry too much about the things you don't have! After all, you could have added some pieces of chicken breast and some pieces of mango as well, but ... we didn't ...
So, don't worry, be happy!

After the simmering is over, turn off the heat, remove the lid and add the lime juice. Use that spoon once more. Then you are ready to heat. Should you be as stupid as me and have used the habanero chili, you will have quite a burning feeling in your mouth. However, there will also be a certain fruitiness. Guess why!

Once the meal is over, I hope you are still happy ...

Nevertheless, there comes the point in once life where you have to rub your eyes, because of something ...

... what a stupid idea!!! A really stupid idea, when you have handles chillies and removed the seeds with using your fingers. Even if you wash your fingers afterwards, something still remains. Yes, rubbing your eyes using those fingers is really stupid ...

... yet another reason to cry! Will it ever end?

I only know that this was not the first time I did this chili part and for sure it will not be the last time ...

If you dare to try this Hot'n'Fruity Potato Carrot Curry, let me know what you think about it!

That's all for now, but is it back for good?!